Personal History

Personal History

by Katharine Graham
4.1 23

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Personal History 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had been meaning to read this for awhile, and never found the time - glad I finally did. One of the first women to hold a true position of power; and one of the most influential and captivating women in contemporary America Graham tells of making it inspite of and despite considerable odds- including the fact that she was born to wealth, married to a genius suffering from manic- depression, and then publisher/owner of the Washington Post. She was a legendary figure that shows herself as being human all too human, writing of her mistakes, of overcoming, enjoying and learning from obstacles and privileges. The book offers slices of American history from the inside, not only Watergate but also major characters such as Warren Buffet. It chronicles both her personal and then professional life at the Washington Post- recounting history (hers, the Wposts' and the nations') from her point of view. It tells of the need to keep on moving forward, even when in doubt of the path to take, of making a tough call and sticking to it- perserverance with elegance. Not only a fascinating history of the Washington Post from the inside but also an incredible odessey of personal growth and empowerment.
Gamma46 More than 1 year ago
I really did not know much about Katharine Graham until reading her personal history. Quite an amazing story. She writes with such honesty about herself it was sometimes heart wrenching. Well written and most interesting.
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Granuaile More than 1 year ago
And the history wasn't so personal. Too much detail about other people. It might have well as been Her husband's biography.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Katharine Graham not only tells a complete story of her life but also of the Washington that she lived in.She doesnt shy away from any of her struggles or painful moments.I liked the way she shared her life from the time she was a child, to her marriage, to old age. This creates a good read but it can get a little lengthy. Other than that it is a powerful read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a female journalist in a male-dominated industry, I was captivated by Katherine Graham's "Personal History." Graham was at the helm of one of the nation's largest newspapers at a time when very few women held positions of power. Everyone, regardless of their gender, can learn much from the way she handled herself in various situations, both professionally and personally. The historical insight and personal details added so much to the book. This is one of my all time favorites!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This autobiography was published just before Ms. Graham died. I would have liked to listen to the recently released Watergate tapes with her in her private quarters. I know her laughter would have shook the building.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just recently finished Personal History and the only real thing that I learned was how many people this woman actually knew in her life. I didn't feel that we really got to know Katharine. It seemed that all she wanted to include in her book is how each of the thousands of people that she mentioned amazingly touched her life. This is my first serious biography that I have ever read, so that may be the way they all are. But this will probably be my last. I agree she led an exciting life, but if I had grown up with that much money, I might have been able to do all of those things too. I wanted to know the real stories, like why she felt the way she did about her husband, what was her real relationship with her children. I just wasn't moved by this story or her life in any way except to say this is not a book worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life...amazing. What a woman. Everybod should read this book; it is absolutely gripping. An insider's view of a certain period of American history - it will leave you with a different spin on the world (if you are anything like me).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Katharine Graham¿s autobiography explores many dimensions of life that will appeal to readers: lifestyles of the rich and famous with her celebrity and society friends; an inside look at one of America¿s most powerful and famous families in the 20th century; overcoming the personal tragedy of being married to a brilliant, manic-depressive cheater who was nasty to her; a history of the rise of the Washington Post from a minor D.C. paper to the top ranks of international journalism; becoming the head of a family that had been dominated by strong personalities who had put her in a supporting role; seeing the interactions of the press with presidents up close; and learning to be a female publisher and CEO on the job with almost no prior experience. If you are like me, you will find the sections of the book about her growing up as Andre Meyer¿s daughter, Watergate, the strike with the pressman¿s union at the Post, and her relationship with Warren Buffett to be the most interesting parts of the book. If, like me, you decide that you find Ms. Graham appealing, it will probably be because of her willingness to do the right thing, even when very painful and dangerous to her, and her loyalty to others . . . even when that loyalty may not have been earned. Even to her enemies, she held out olive branches to keep lines of communication open . . . which were often rejected. Although the book is candid about her own failings (having been too sheltered as a child and wife, making lots of mistakes in picking and working with people at the Washington Post Company, and being too accepting of male chauvinism) and family members who are deceased (especially her father, mother, and husband), she pulls back from any significant observations about many of her friends and acquaintances who are still living. You will see these people primarily from the perspective of having been lunch and dinner companions and guests. A curtain of privacy is also pulled over long sections of her life. For example, you will find out the names of the people and the yacht that she disappeared on for several weeks, but nothing about what occurred. On the other hand, CEO autobiographies usually toot the horn of the CEO. The closest this one comes to tooting is quoting Warren Buffett in pointing out that Washington Post Company stock grew more than double the rate of any other similar company during the time when she was CEO. Actually, even that observation is modest. As measured by stock-price performance, Ms. Graham is one of the great CEOs of the 20th century. She has also left behind a legacy of commitment to a free press from the Pentagon Papers publication and the Watergate exposures that will stand as a beacon for future publishers. In either case, she could have lost the bulk of her wealth and influence had things turned out differently. Most CEOs would be reluctant to take those kinds of risks in the public interest. Certainly, there was no financial windfall to taking these courses. It was simply the right thing to do. Thank you, Ms. Graham! Have you ever been in a situation where you were supposed to know how to do something, but had no clue? Throughout her business career, Ms. Graham was placed in that awkward situation. Towards the end of the book, she reveals that she wished that she had attended Harvard Business School. Throughout her business career, Ms. Graham reveals here feeling like a fraud and not knowing what questions to ask. But in business, it¿s usually more important what you do than what you know. And she kept moving forward until she found a method that worked. That kind of perseverance takes great moral courage, and I was impressed to realize just how much more difficult her accomplishments were to achieve than they seemed to outsiders. Where should you be taking a more active role in choosing your life¿s direction? Where should you be more understanding of friends and family members? Whe
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Personal History and really enjoyed it. Katharine Graham must have been an incredible woman. She led a fascinating life. In her book, she reflects on her life in an incredibly personal way that is both insightful and inspiring. I rarely find people who I feel I can truly look up to - esp. women in the business world. This book gave me someone I can truly hope to emulate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The tapes are an abridged version of the book, which I didn't know prior to purchasing. Nonetheless, this was a fantastic tale told by a remarkable woman. A storybook life told with brutal honesty. A Pulitzer Prize was well earned and the world has lost a phenomenal woman. A book I will make my daughters read someday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Katherine Graham will always leave a legacy that will be an indelible mark upon the publishing/writing world. Her dedication and perserverence in making the Washington Post and its enterprises into what they are today is a testimonial to the willpower and dtermination of this wonderful woman who shall be sorely missed in the literary and journalism world. Katherine Graham was thrust upon the scene in a time when the United States was in the process of undergoing one of the worst upheavels in our history. Fate would have it that two reporters on her staff would make the key discoveries that would lead to the downfall of a president. However, what is often overlooked in that story is that while the threat of collapse was upon her, Katherine Graham stood by her staff and doggedly pushed them on, even when faced with the downfall of her growing enterprise, should the story have been not what it seemed. This was typical Katherine Graham. A woman who knew what she wanted out of her life and strode to get it. The life of this great woman should be viewed as an example of perserverence. Most times remarks like that are made about ficticious characters. True, as the author of Strike Hard I found that when creating fictional characters, we all have a sense of success and achievement. However, this story is not fiction, yet shines as a beacon to any and all who have a dream, desire, or goal in their life. Katherine Graham had a determination to make something out of her life and out of the Post, and she did both with elegance, pride, and an unwaiverable determination that allowed her success.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When people say she is 'brutally honest', in reviews, they are correct and at great pain to herself. As Ben Bradlee said at her funeral, 'She was a spectacular dame, and I loved her very much', as did all of us who had the honor of knowing her. You can only learn from this book as you travel a most interesting life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course, she is anything but how she originally felt about herself, dowdy and dull. It's an amazing story about how she fought back to capture her abilities and become well known for power among freinds, family and the bigwigs. I wish she would tell a little more about herself on a lighter note. She really bashes her self-esteem, what self-esteem? Personally, I think she deserves every bit of the praise she has finally received and fought so hard for. Her children should be proud and continue to enlighten the public with her hopes, goals and love of getting out the truth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Martha Graham's PERSONAL HISTORY a couple of years ago while making some very big changes in my life. I continue to believe that her very honest story got me through the difficult journey. I will also always feel honored that we shared the same birth date, June 16th. What a gal!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the next selection my book group, See Jane Read has selected. I decided to read the first chapter online. As I read, I immediately thought of Eleanor Roosevelt's biography. Did these two families know everyone! Incredible-makes you want to keep notes on your own life and be gracious to welcome strangers into yours.